How Boris Johnson dropped five clues hinting of a comeback – including his ‘hasta la vista, baby’ farewell speech

FILE - Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks outside Downing Street in London, Sept. 6, 2022. Liz Truss’ resignation as British Prime Minister has triggered another leadership race — the second in just four months — for the U.K.’s fractured and demoralized Conservative Party. There is intense speculation that former Prime Minister Boris Johnson may be making a bid for a return. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, file)

BORIS Johnson has dropped a number of clues hinting he could make a dramatic return to No 10 as the Conservative party starts the battle to become leader.

Liz Truss announced her resignation yesterday as Prime Minister having been in office for just 44 days amid economic turmoil and party in-fighting.

Could a dramatic comeback by Boris Johnson see him return to Downing Street as the Conservatives start the battle for a new leader?

Truss quit after 44 days of infighting and chaos – becoming Britain’s shortest serving PM

Rishi Sunak is currently seen as the frontrunner in the race for party leader

Former chancellor Rishi Sunak is currently the frontrunner to seize the keys to Downing Street.

But Mr Johnson is thought to be keen to get his old job back.

Here are the five clues that indicate BoJo aims to return to power.

Clue 1: Boris memorably ended his Commons swan song with the farewell “hasta la vista baby”. The phrase was coined by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator, who also famously says “I’ll be back”.

Clue 2: In his final goodbye outside No10, the departing PM compared himself to Roman statesman Cincinnatus “returning to his plough”. Surely the Classics scholar would have known that Cincinnatus later returned to power as dictator.

Clue 3: Rather than disappearing completely from the political stage Boris has remained a passionate defender of Ukraine, and was recently elected chair of the Conservative Friends of Ukraine.

Clue 4: His fiercest supporter Nadine Dorries has continued to make the case for Boris, even suggesting he should be on the last leadership ballot – something the ex PM didn’t deny.

Clue 5: Unlike some of his predecessors, Boris has not resigned as an MP – meaning he is eligible to stand for the leadership.

However, Tory chiefs, including 1922 Committee chair Sir Graham Brady, yesterday said candidates need to be nominated by 100 MPs — a threshold which Boris supporters fear he might struggle to meet.

It triggered claims of a “stop BoJo stitch-up”.

He was installed as one of three favourites — with Mr Sunak and Penny Mordaunt — and took an early lead with at least 44 Tory MPs getting behind him.

Each candidate needs 100 MPs to back them

One party donor, who has given millions to the Tories, said last night: “This is a total stitch-up.”

A Boris-supporting Cabinet Minister told HOAR: “Sir Graham has engineered this in a way that would make [ex-Zimbabwe tyrant] Robert Mugabe blush.”

And Tory MP Marco Longhi said: “I am backing Boris and as a democrat it’s important that members have their say.

“He is the only person that commands that authority given to him by the public at a General Election. Please come back, Boss.”

Mr Johnson faces an uphill battle for the top job against Mr Sunak plus Commons Leader Ms Mordaunt and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

Former candidates Kemi Badenoch and Suella Braverman are considering whether to run again.

Boris has dropped five clues he wants to return to power